Continental Airlines March Traffic Rose

Continental Airlines said late Monday that its March traffic climbed 3.4% on stronger trans-Atlantic travel.

The airline also said its passenger revenue per available seat mile grew between 4.5% and 5.5% from the prior-year period. A revenue passenger mile is an industry unit measuring one paying passenger flown one mile. March traffic grew to 7.95 billion revenue passenger miles from 7.69 billion, Continental said.

The airline saw its biggest gains in trans-Atlantic flights, which increased 8.3% to 1.51 billion revenue passenger miles.

Capacity grew 1.8% to 9.63 billion available seat miles from 9.47 billion.

Occupancy during the month improved to 82.6% from 81.2%.

Last month Continental said it expects first-quarter yields, a key industry gauge that tracks fare trends, to rise slightly from year-ago levels, with mainline domestic yields dipping slightly and Latin American and European routes showing "strong improvement" and Asian yields showing "solid improvement."